PARIS -- Land Rover pulled the wraps off its new compact Discovery Sport at a pre-show event for journalists, hauling it up the Seine River on a massive barge.
The Discovery Sport sprinted out of a grassy mountain, through several feet of water, to be greeted by seven giant boots -- or wellies as the British call them. The Discovery Sport was introduced by supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who heralded the arrival of the "Discovery Range Rover."
Land Rover executives took it in good nature, muttering "she only had one line," and admitted the model -- who is best known for posing in Victoria's Secret lingerie -- was there for the paparazzi.
The compact will go on sale in Europe and the United States in April. It will replace the Freelander in Europe and the LR2 in the U.S.
It will be available as either a five or five-plus-two seater in the U.S. market. The Discovery Sport is the first of at least three new models in a new family.
The Discovery Sport will initially be sold only with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine available on the Range Rover Evoque -- with which it shares a platform. A diesel and gasoline powerplant from the new Ingenium family of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines will be available later.